I first became familiar with the term “echo chamber” when I was visiting the sciencebasedmedicine.org site a year ago. An “echo chamber,” I learned, is composed of people who insulate and isolate themselves from world perspectives that differ from their own, and surround themselves with people who echo their own beliefs and opinions. I discovered on the sciencebasedmedicine.org site that people who accuse others of belonging to an “echo chamber” are often living in their own echo chamber.
And, really, who can blame anyone for wanting to surround themselves with people who think and believe as they do, and share their opinions about stuff? An echo chamber is a comfortable place to live. When we live in an echo chamber we get a lot of kudos and pats on the back and thumbs up for espousing our beliefs – our little egos are given free rein to grow and prosper, to puff up and expand. We can feel really good about ourselves because everyone else agrees with us and thinks we are cool.
It takes courage to leave our echo chambers – to peek out of our little caves and venture forth into the Big World of Ideas. It takes courage to allow others to question our most cherished beliefs, and to allow ourselves to question them, as well.
Right now I’m seeing two major echo chambers when it comes to the vaccination debate. In one chamber there are the anti-vaccination folk who can rattle off statistics and personal anecdotes about the dire effects of vaccinations on one’s health, and the ineffectiveness of some vaccines – such as the flu vaccine – in stopping disease. In the other echo chamber there are folk who can rattle off statistics and personal anecdotes about how the use of vaccines has dramatically stopped the spread of diseases such as polio and small pox, and has helped to eradicate some diseases entirely.
From my perspective – sitting by myself outside the chambers and listening to all the echoes coming out of them – it’s all kind of fascinating. From my perspective, the people involved in these debates – whether they’re pro-vaccination or anti-vaccination – are actually a lot more closely connected with each other in the way they view the world than they may think they are. Both groups see a material world that has danger in it – that can be capricious and random and scary. The people in both groups are motivated by a fear of getting sick – the anti-vaccination people are afraid the vaccines will make them and their loved ones unhealthy, and the pro-vaccination people are afraid that NOT taking the vaccines will make them and their loved ones unhealthy.
As I see it, there are no bad guys here – there are just people who want to help keep their loved ones safe, and are doing what they think is the right thing to do to help make that happen.
Because I’ve always identified myself as a Christian Scientist – and a lot of people think of Christian Scientists as “the ones who don’t go to doctors” – I’ve often been asked if I had my children vaccinated. The answer is yes. This is not something of which I’m either ashamed or proud. It’s not something I’d brag about in the pro-vaccination echo chamber, and not something I’d feel guilty to admit in the anti-vaccination echo chamber. (I’ve also had vaccinations myself – right after my oldest son was born I was vaccinated for rubella; I went in for a tetanus shot once when I fell kiester-first through a hole in the porch and snagged my legs on rusty nails as I was going down – I still crack up every time I think about that adventure – I am such a doof; and several years ago I voluntarily went to the doctor and got the pertussis vaccination to help alleviate the fears of the people around me when I began working at a high school during a time when pertussis was running rampant through my state. [As a youngster I had mumps, measles, and chicken pox – I was quickly healed of all of them – and a titer test later confirmed I carried the antibodies.])
When I took my sons in to be vaccinated I had to sign consent forms that listed a lot of possible side effects to the vaccinations, and I remember feeling frightened by what I read there. I did not sign those forms glibly – my sons are the most precious people in the world to me. As a Christian Scientist I used my understanding of God – of Love – to know that those vaccinations had no power to hurt my sons – that they were held safe in the arms of Love. My sons, I reasoned, are the perfect, whole, untouched, unaltered, unmarred, complete reflections of Life and Love – never for a moment separated from all that is good. As ideas of God, their real spiritual being is always safe, and never for a moment separated from the consciousness of Truth.
I’d taken the sons in to be vaccinated because my husband had requested that I get them vaccinated, and because it seemed the responsible thing for me to do for the other people in my community who don’t share with me the same perspective about the reality of Spirit, and the unreality of matter. It felt, to me, that NOT taking my sons in for vaccinations would have been, in a way, like forcing my beliefs on other people.
But I have to admit to harboring some respect for the people who consciously withstand the peer pressure and refuse to follow the herd into whatever echo chamber is loudest. It ain’t easy to stand alone for what you think is right.
And this reminds me of a dream I had years ago. In this dream I was maybe 12 or 13 years old – and there was this ominous, oppressive feeling to the atmosphere. The sky was dark and roiling with purple storm clouds. A bus filled with my classmates and their families pulled up. All the popular kids were either on that bus, or getting onto it. In the dream I realized that everyone was getting on the bus to go get exterminated – that people were voluntarily going off to get shot or something to save mankind. And everyone was laughing and congratulating each other for their self-sacrifice, and patting each other on the back. And I really wanted to get on that bus, too, and be with the other popular people. But my Dad (who is not a CS, by the way) came running out of the house and down to the bus stop to stop me from getting on the bus. “No,” he yelled to me, “You can’t get on that bus! We’re going skiing in Sun Valley next week!”
So I didn’t get on the bus. I watched it pull away, loaded with my friends. It felt bad. At first. But hey, I got over it. I mean, I had Sun Valley to look forward to, right?
The chemist, the botanist, the druggist, the doctor, and the nurse equip the medicine with their faith, and the beliefs which are in the majority rule. When the general belief endorses the inanimate drug as doing this or that, individual dissent or faith, unless it rests on Science, is but a belief held by a minority, and such a belief is governed by the majority. – Mary Baker Eddy
An interesting youtube clip about the safety of vaccinations since 1989.
Asking people about their opinions is a very good way of making friends. Telling them about your own opinions can also work, but not always quite as well. – Douglas Adams
She arrived in the middle of a discussion upon international politics. “Look at India,” one of the ladies was saying. “Yes, but look at Japan,” urged the other with intense vehemence. Barbara was introduced to the ladies, of course, but she never heard their names. They were already labeled, much more legibly in her retentive memory, as Mrs. Japan and Mrs. India. She was rather crushed at the farsightedness of the two ladies— what did they see when they looked at Japan and India like that? Did their bird’s-eye view take in the whole of these Asiatic countries at a glance? Were India and Japan open before their eyes like a child’s picture book? – D.E. Stevenson
The following was originally a chapter in The Madcap Christian Scientist: All Things New, but I took it out because the voice in this chapter doesn’t fit in with the rest of the book. In this chapter you see me being cranky and a little ticked off. It ain’t pretty…
Have you ever looked back on a period in your life and smiled with amusement and a certain amount of affection for the person you were? That’s how I feel when I look back on the person I was five years ago – during the period when I was spending a lot of my free time on a religion discussion board. I was cute, wasn’t I? – idealistic, naïve, really believing that everyone was on the discussion board for the same reason I was – to learn about other people’s beliefs, share their own, and exchange ideas and thoughts about religion, science, metaphysics, philosophy, literature, music, art.
I learned an awful lot from that discussion board – some of it was awesome, and some of it not so much. I learned there were a lot of people in the world with kind hearts and open minds and good humor. I also learned that there are an awful lot of people who want everyone else to think and believe exactly what they think and believe – and I learned that I wasn’t one of them.
I saw bigotry.
If there’s one thing that toasts my cookies it is bigotry.
At first I found myself mostly coming to the defense of the atheists on the discussion board, who, initially, seemed to be the major target of bigotry. They were told they were going to hell. They were told they were all lacking any kind of moral compass. They were compared to Pol Pot and Stalin. It was all ridiculous and hateful, and I could not let the bigotry slide by without responding to it.
Then for a time the bigotry seemed to be mostly directed towards the “believers”. Those who believe in God were called ignorant, uneducated, unintelligent, superstitious scaredy cats, and blamed for the murders committed during The Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, and the Salem witch trials. Which… yeah… I’m sitting here now, just shaking my head, as I remember the nonsense.
There were a lot of generalizations made – every atheist was lumped together into one group – as if they all believed, felt, and thought the same about everything; and every Christian was lumped together into another monolithic group. Finger-pointing and blame-laying was rampant. As a Christian Scientist, I was told by many of the Christians that I was going to hell because I didn’t believe in hell, or in a devil, or that Jesus was God. And as someone who identified as a Christian, a number of atheists seemed inclined to assume I held the same beliefs about God that they had learned when they were youngsters attending Christian Sunday Schools – and then judged me for the beliefs that they wrongly attributed to me.
It could all be a little exasperating.
For the first few years the humor, friendship, and intellectual stimulation I got from the discussion forum outweighed the exasperation. I met some really good friends there – people I still continue to call my friends – people who became familiar with my spiritual perspective about life in a way that many of my offline friends never did.
But after several years my interest in the discussion board began to wane. More and more I found myself in these weird dialogues with people who presumed to know what was in my head and heart without giving me the opportunity to tell them myself. More and more I found myself in the unsatisfying position of being treated like a student whose job it was to quietly sit and listen while others threw their great wisdom and knowledge at me. I found myself getting lectured to and preached at a lot, and I do not particularly enjoy being the target of lectures and preaching. Dialogues became one-sided monologues; the exchange of ideas turned into a one-way sermon – people telling me what I should believe, think, and feel, and then getting really agitated with me if I dared to question or voice a thought of my own.
The Grand Finale – the defining moment when I realized I no longer had any interest in serious participation on the discussion board – came for me on a thread titled “Repeal the child abuse for Christian Scientists in Washington State law”. For four pages (100 posts) I read comments, written by my friends (people whose atheism or Christianity I had defended time and again on the forum) about the lunatic Christian Scientists who are “neither Christian nor scientists” (pretty original, right?). For four pages I read comments from people attacking a “strawman” – indignantly pontificating on how wrong it is to legally allow Christian Scientists to abuse their children – when there never was a law or lobby that supported child abuse by Christian Scientists. And then I saw where one of my forum friends had written this: “I just took issue with the thought that the faith healers could be unaware that their ‘healings’ have zero positive effect… I think the fact that the alleged Christian Science lobby feels the need to protect themselves from prosecution tells me that they must know the reality of their faith… He seems to be saying that Christian Scientists aren’t True Christians. The Christian Science people seem to think they are Christians, based on my scanty reading of what they believe.”
SCANTY READING?!!! Oh, for Pete’s sake! I’d been sharing my experiences as a Christian Scientist on that forum for almost seven years – shared wonderful healings I’d had in Christian Science, shared my thoughts about “Christianity” – but my friend hadn’t, apparently, learned anything about my way of life or beliefs from what I’d written on there. It came to me, then, that the only reason some of these people had ever considered me their friend was because I had been a good audience – willing to listen to THEM – but that they hadn’t really been interested in anything I’d had to say.
I wrote a response:
Christian Scientist from Washington State here. I’m sure you are all completely right about me. I mean, you must be, right? I should be, like, locked-up for the good of society. Interned in a camp maybe. I should never have been allowed to marry – and certainly not to a nice, decent liberal man raised by his decent God-loving Methodist parents. I should never have been allowed to have children, and certainly never been allowed to raise them – it’s a miracle that they survived to adulthood and turned out to be such intelligent, healthy, whole, well-adjusted young men, considering their mom was a Christian Scientist. I should not be allowed to share in the rights of citizenship of this land – it’s far too good for the likes of me. I should certainly never have been allowed to vote – and never been allowed to participate in the democratic process. I should never have been allowed to be elected delegate to our state Democratic convention, and should never have been allowed to write letters and donate in support of environmental causes, the ACLU, gay rights, Habitat for Humanity, atheists, Amnesty International, and yes, universal health care (I don’t believe anyone should be denied the health care they feel they need just because they’re poor – health care should be considered a basic human right). I am, of course, just a cardboard cutout of a person – like every other Christian Scientist in the world.
As you know – seeing as how I’ve been on here for ALMOST SEVEN YEARS sharing my beliefs, thoughts, and feelings with you – I am a despicable, ignorant, uneducated, illiterate human being. I should probably be lined up with my fellow CSists against a wall and shot, as was once suggested on a local talk show.
Am I Christian? Nope, probably not (according to the current accepted definition of a “Christian”). Like my fellow CSists, I do not believe Jesus was god. Do not believe in a literal place of hell or heaven. Do not believe in Original Sin. Do not believe the story of Adam and Eve should be taken literally. Do not believe the world was, literally, created in seven days and seven nights. Do not believe in creationism. Do not believe dinosaurs and humans roamed the world at the same time. And, like those familiar with quantum physics, I DO believe matter is pretty much nothing . So shoot me.
My children , by the way, were vaccinated (edit: the topic of vaccinations is probably worth a whole ‘nother blog post), and were taken by me to doctors, when the need arose – which wasn’t often – they were mostly healthy. They also were raised by their parents – as I was raised by mine – to not be quick to make judgments on others, to try to approach the world without bigotry, and to question political and religious dogma, and those in authority (including the medical profession – you do all know that traditional medical practice is the third-leading cause of death in this country according to the JAMA, right? – it shouldn’t be surprising that thinking people might sometimes look for alternatives to it).
Okay. I’m pretty much done here. I’ve been yammering away on this forum for seven years. And apparently no one was listening.
Weirdly, I got nine out of ten “yes” votes for that post. 🙂 Most gratifying personally, though, was the response that came right after my post from my atheist friend, Conley. I think when I first came onto the forum Conley had had some pre-conceived notions about me as a Christian Scientist, but, like any true critical thinker, Conley had listened and observed and been willing to learn and shift his thinking. I liked and respected him. Following my post, Conley wrote: “Damned well said, Karen. And I was happy to note that you listed about half my favorite causes–which is what I’d have guessed of you. Best regards. -Conley”
I guess it’s because of people like Conley that I still sometimes pop in on the discussion forum. As for the “others” – the close-minded, arrogant, sermonizing, judgmental know-it-alls from the right and the left, the up and the down – both religious and non-religious – who don’t really want to hear what other people have to say – I guess I just feel really bad for them. They are missing out, ain’t they?
Creeds, doctrines, and human hypotheses do not express Christian Science; much less can they demonstrate it. – Mary Baker Eddy
To seek Truth through belief in a human doctrine is not to understand the infinite. We must not seek the immutable and immortal through the finite, mutable, and mortal, and so depend upon belief instead of demonstration… – Mary Baker Eddy
The way to extract error from mortal mind is to pour in truth through flood-tides of Love. – Mary Baker Eddy
Mahatma Gandhi, that great leader of non-violent resistance, said, “I have discovered in the earliest stages that pursuit of truth did not admit of violence being inflicted on one’s opponent but that he must be weaned from error by patience and compassion. For what appears to be truth to the one may appear to be error to the other. And patience means self-suffering. So the doctrine came to mean vindication of truth, not by infliction of suffering on the opponent, but on oneself.”
According to Wikipedia “Satyagraha” ((http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satyagraha) means “soul force” or “truth force” and can be loosely translated as “insistence on truth.” “Satyagraha” was a term created and used by Mahatma Gandhi in his non-violent struggle against foreign control of India. “Ahimsa” – the Hindu belief that all living things are connected and that we should treat all life with kindness and non-violence – is fundamental to Satyagraha. Gandhi believed we are all morally interdependent on each other – we depend on each other to do the “right thing” – that it is imperative for us to cultivate what is decent in each other.
Recently, as I was pondering A Rule for Motives and Acts for members of the Christian Science Mother Church, it struck me how similar it is to the idea of “Satyagraha” –
A Rule for Motives and Acts (Article VIII, Section 1 of the Manual for the Mother Church): “Neither animosity nor mere personal attachment should impel the motives or acts of the members of The Mother Church. In Science, divine Love alone governs man; and a Christian Scientists reflects the sweet amenities of Love, in rebuking sin, in true brotherliness, charitableness, and forgiveness. The members of the Church should daily watch and pray to be delivered from all evil, from prophesying, judging, condemning, counseling, influencing, or being influenced erroneously.”
First Readers of the Christian Science branch churches read this rule from the podium the first Sunday of every month. When I’ve served as First Reader in our branch church, and read this rule out loud to the congregation, there’s been a part of me that cringes inside a little. I’m a little embarrassed. A little awkward. And hugely humbled. I mean… well, who am I to be reading this rule to the congregation? I know with certainty that there have been times when I have not lived up to this rule. Have I always been loyal to God, Love, Truth – the Principle of Christian Science – rather than to persons? Have I always had the courage and humility to “rebuke sin” – not in a way that personalizes it – but in the manner of Gandhi, weaning “from error by patience and compassion” and with self-suffering, or – as Mary Baker Eddy puts it – extracting error from mortal mind and pouring in truth “through flood-tides of Love“? Have I always been charitable and forgiving? Have I always refrained from “judging, condemning, counseling, influencing, or being influenced erroneously”?
We don’t have a lot of doctrine, dogma, or creed in the Christian Science church. There are not a whole lot of detailed rules, really, about how we should eat, dress, stand, sit, wear our hair, or address one another, and there are no rules that separate men and women in any way, or create a church class system and hierarchy. We are pretty much free agents when it comes to that stuff – free to follow our own conscience and understanding.
In the textbook for Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy writes, “The time for thinkers has come. Truth, independent of doctrines and time-honored systems, knocks at the portal of humanity.” A little later she writes, “Our Master (Jesus) taught no mere theory, doctrine, or belief. It was the divine Principle of all real being which he taught and practised. His proof of Christianity was no form or system of religion and worship, but Christian Science, working out the harmony of Life and Love.” Eddy writes, “Surely it is not enough to cleave to barren and desultory dogmas, derived from the traditions of the elders…”
So. Yeah. Which brings us back to A Rule for Motives and Acts. All the other stuff that one sometimes finds in humanly-organized religion – the dress codes, the class system, the distinction between genders, the rules about food – all of that pretty much seems meaningless when put next to the idea that “divine Love alone governs man,” doesn’t it?
Do Christian Scientists have a doctrine at all? Well, there is this: “This is the doctrine of Christian Science: that divine Love cannot be deprived of its manifestation, or object; that joy cannot be turned into sorrow, for sorrow is not the master of joy; that good can never produce evil; that matter can never produce mind nor life result in death. The perfect man – governed by God, his perfect Principle – is sinless and eternal.” (from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy)
Perfect Principle and perfect man. Perpetual, uninterrupted joy. Unconditional, unending Love – shining on everyone, without distinction. Endless Life. That’s a goal worthy of our time and energies, yes?
The hour has struck when proof and demonstration, instead of opinion and dogma, are summoned to the support of Christianity, “making wise the simple.” – Mary Baker Eddy
Happy for the fun of it…:)
I love this clip of a happy penguin that came through Facebook today – there he is, hopping around in the snow while the grown-ups stand there watching him. No one else is joining him in his frolic – but he doesn’t care if he’s hopping around alone. He doesn’t need any reason to be happy. He doesn’t need others to be happy with him. He’s just happy for the sheer fun of it…
(Author’s note: This is one of those posts that I hesitate to publish. It’s… well it’s my “pondering stuff” voice, I guess. But what the hell, right? What’s the worst thing that can happen here? No one reads it? P’shaw! I ain’t ascared. of having no audience for this one. In fact, that might be a good thing. 🙂 )
“Simulation is the imitation of the operation of a real-world process or system over time… Historically, simulations used in different fields developed largely independently, but 20th century studies of systems theory and cybernetics combined with spreading use of computers across all those fields have led to some unification and a more systematic view of the concept… Simulation is extensively used for educational purposes… Virtual simulations represent a specific category of simulation that utilizes simulation equipment to create a simulated world for the user. Virtual simulations allow users to interact with a virtual world.” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simulation
I’m reading Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures again. Every time I read this book I notice things I never noticed before. This time one of the things that has popped out at me is Eddy’s use of the word “simulate”. I probably didn’t notice this word the first time I read Science and Health – back in 1980 or so – because it wasn’t as commonly used as it is today. I wouldn’t have been able to relate it to anything in my own experience back then.
Eddy seems to have, once again, made a leap into the future with her use of the word “simulate” in Science and Health. Though her book was first published in 1875 – almost a century and a half ago – it makes mention of space travel, atomic power, and what today might be called quantum physics. So I probably shouldn’t have been surprised when I came upon the word “simulate”.
Contrasting the creation of Adam in the second chapter of Genesis with the creation described in the first chapter, Eddy writes: “Beginning creation with darkness instead of light, – materially rather than spiritually, – error now simulates the work of Truth, mocking Love and declaring what things error has done.” She writes, “Close your eyes, and you may dream that you see a flower, – that you touch and smell it. Thus you learn that the flower is a product of the so-called mind, a formation of thought rather than of matter. Close your eyes again, and you may see landscapes, men, and women. Thus you learn that these also are images, which mortal mind holds and evolves and which simulate mind, life, and intelligence.” A little further into Science and Health, and the author writes, “When we put off the false sense for the true, and see that sin and mortality have neither Principle nor permanency, we shall learn that sin and mortality are without actual origin or rightful existence. They are native nothingness, out of which error would simulate creation through a man formed from dust… Sin, sickness, and death are comprised in human material belief… They have neither Principle nor permanence, but belong, with all that is material and temporal, to the nothingness of error, which simulates the creations of Truth.”
It has been very helpful to me to see material existence as just a simulation – maybe one of those training simulators – providing me with the opportunity to practice separating the true from the false, to practice recognizing the real and eternal, and to practice translating all the good and beautiful we see represented in the “simulator” back into its spiritual form.
“Nature voices natural, spiritual law and divine Love, but human belief misinterprets nature. Arctic regions, sunny tropics, giant hills, winged winds, mighty billows, verdant vales, festive flowers, and glorious heavens, – all point to Mind, the spiritual intelligence they reflect. The floral apostles are hieroglyphs of Deity.” – Mary Baker Eddy
Now I’ve been cryin’ lately,
Thinkin’ about the world as it is.
Why must we go on hating?
Why can’t we live in bliss?
– Cat Stevens, Peace Train
This morning I was looking on YouTube for that wonderful old Cat Stevens song, Peace Train, and stumbled upon a documentary of the songwriter that I found really thought-provoking. I’d known Cat Stevens had converted to the Islam religion many years ago, but I hadn’t really known much about Yusuf Islam’s (Cat Stevens’s) spiritual life beyond that. I’d heard rumors that he had supported the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, and I remember reading about Yusuf Islam being suspected of terrorism and detained at an American airport when trying to enter the U.S. a decade ago. But the music he’d given us as Cat Stevens in the 70’s didn’t correlate in my mind with terrorism and religious extremism – it did not compute – so I’d just pretty much ignored all the rumors and kept the old Cat Stevens and his music alive and well in my thoughts. Basically, I took what was useful to me – what touched me and inspired me in his music – and ignored the other stuff.
Then this morning, as I was looking for Peace Train, I found a 51-minute documentary on Yusuf Islam’s life. Fifty-one minutes. In internet time, where we are used to bits and pieces and snatches and soundbites, 51 minutes is a LOT of minutes to invest on one YouTube clip, right? But I was interested enough that I figured I would go ahead and start the clip for myself and when I got bored I’d just turn it off and go on to something else.
I pushed “play” and began to watch the documentary. Before I knew it I was already 35 minutes into it, then 40, and then it was done! And I found the entire 51 minutes fascinating! So interesting, in fact, that I started scribbling down quotes for myself, to remember later.
The documentary addresses Cat Stevens’s career as a musician, his conversion to the Islam religion and changing his name to “Yusuf Islam”, the Salman Rushdie fatwa, and Yusuf Islam’s detention for suspected terrorism. Through the entire documentary Yusuf Islam comes across, to me, as sincere and genuine, intelligent and well-spoken. He says he never supported the fatwa against Rushdie and I believe him – I figure he doesn’t have a whole lot to gain by denying his support for the fatwa, and he might actually be risking a fatwa on his own life by saying he doesn’t support the fatwa on Rushdie’s. He claims he’s never been a part of any extremist Muslim terrorist activities, and, again, I believe him – from my own observation, terrorists (whether Muslim or otherwise) seem to be pretty proud of their terrorist activities and don’t spend their time denying what they’ve done. And when, in the documentary, we see Yusuf Islam addressing a gathering of Muslim leaders he’s not inciting fanatical extremism, but is telling them, instead: “We need inspired leadership to guide us back to the elevated path of wisdom and away from the temple of politics and ignorance.”
As someone who identifies as a Christian Scientist, I have now and then felt the sting of prejudice that comes from ignorance and fear. Maybe that’s why I’m able to feel some empathy for Yusuf Islam. In the documentary he puts it like this: “I was being painted in the same colors as all this often kind of political stuff.”
Islam says, “There’s certainly a change in the wind… There’s a chance for a new understanding of the moderate middle path of Islam because the extremes have been exposed. A lot of people have missed the whole point – including some Muslims who have gone off on their own strategy of trying to improve the world through some kind of devious means.”
I, for one, am glad that Cat Stevens converted to Islam. He believes he was led by God to do so. I believe God, Love, leads us all down our own unique path – and I believe every path leads to Love, in the end. Maybe every religion and non-religion needs adherents with reasonable voices – voices that speak of peace. Maybe the Islam religion needs the voice of Yusuf Islam speaking and singing for it and helping lead the way towards Love.
“I don’t really want to get involved in politics,” Yusuf Islam says, “I prefer to sing a song.”
Now, I’ve been happy lately,
Thinkin’ about the good things to come
And I believe it could be;
Something good has begun.
Cat Stevens, Peace Train
Of all Cat Stevens’s songs Peace Train is the one that has most inspired me. Here’s the Youtube clip for Peace Train that I was looking for this morning:
And here’s a link to the documentary: